Originally Posted by doublem23
Basically. ERA is nice overview stat, it tells you basically what you need to know but doesn't offer too much depth. It's basically the pitcher's equivalent of OPS. You can make some snap judgments based on those stats but if you really want to learn more about what's going on you need to dig deeper. Saying someone is a good pitcher because he has the best ERA in the league is a valid statement. Saying someone is the best pitcher in the league because he has the best ERA is more of a gray area.
I think for starters at least ERA is a pretty reliable stat. Ultimately EVERY stat provides just a snap shot, but I am hard pressed to think of a starter who posted a good ERA that wasn't actually that good.